EEA Residence Card
EEA Residence Cards are issued to non-EEA national family members and extended family members of EEA nationals who are exercising Treaty rights in the United Kingdom. EEA Residence Cards confirm a right of residence in the UK.
There is no legal requirement to obtain a Residence Card because the right of residence exists as a matter of European Union law. However, a Residence Card acts as confirmation of your right of residence in the UK and this will make it easier to re-enter the UK and to prove that you have a right to work in the UK, for example.
Before you can live with an EEA family member in the UK you need to demonstrate that he or she is a ‘qualified person’ – that is, that they are exercising Treaty rights in the UK through employment or self-employment, studying, as a retired or self-sufficient person, or as a jobseeker.If your EEA family member is settled in the UK through having exercised Treaty rights for five continuous years you can also live with them in the UK, regardless of whether or not they are currently exercising Treaty rights.
EEA Family Members
Family members are entitled to live in the UK with an EEA national. In EEA law, only the following are family members:
- The spouse of the EEA national
- Children and grandchildren below the age of 21 of either the EEA national or the spouse
- Dependent parents or grandparents of either the EEA national or the spouse
Just because there is an entitlement in law does not mean that proving your entitlement is always straightforward or easy – the Home Office have to be satisfied with the relationship and the genuineness of any claimed dependence.
Extended Family Members
Over-age children and other relatives, including unmarried partners, are called ‘extended family members’. Unmarried partners have to satisfy the Home Office that they are in a genuine relationship (which should generally have lasted for at least two years) and other relatives need to show that they are dependent upon the EEA national.
You can apply even if you are in the UK illegally, but it is generally more difficult.